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View Full Version : Spelling / phonics suggestions for older child



Jeni
10-15-2009, 01:12 PM
Sean is 9yo and a good reader but a horrible speller. He taught himself to read, mostly by sight unfortunately. He has trouble spelling even the simplest of words. He also displays dyslexic tendencies though we've not had him tested. He's left handed as well if that has any bearing on suggestions you might give.

I really want him to learn some phonics but most phonics programs are geared at learning to read not spelling. I can't handle yet another teacher intensive program at the moment. I can devote 20 - 30 minutes of lesson time to this but I can't spend a tons of time "individualizing" lesson plans for him. We've tried SWR (too teacher intensive for me) All About Spelling (moved frustratingly slow and expensive to move quickly through the levels) and Sequential Spelling (very frustrating to him because even the first 4 lists in book one gave him a lot of trouble, he can read the words no problem but trying to write them himself from memory is almost too difficult for him at times. :unsure: )

So what do you ladies suggest? :)

ETA: I'm intrigued by Love To Learn's Journaling and LA program. Anyone use this? What does the spelling routine look like? It looks like a great way to work on his atrocious handwriting and pinpoint his spelling problems at the same time and maybe throw a little language arts in on the side. :lol:
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Steph
10-15-2009, 02:39 PM
My second ds has always had problems with spelling. I've tried several of the popular spelling programs and nothing was working.
I read a review of Christian Liberty Press's Building Spelling Skills by Cathy Duffy and decided to try it. For the first time, ds is finally getting it. I go through the lessons with him and make sure he understands the patterns.
It's a very traditional text. But ds doesn't seem to mind, in fact, the straight forward directions seem to help him. They do ask the student to write the words several times and we don't do this. Ds only writes the words he's having problems with.
Ds is 10 and in the 5th grade. I started him in book 4.

Esther-Alabama
10-15-2009, 06:33 PM
and Sequential Spelling (very frustrating to him because even the first 4 lists in book one gave him a lot of trouble, he can read the words no problem but trying to write them himself from memory is almost too difficult for him at times. :unsure: )



I am not sure exactly what you mean here, but let me share how we use SS. I call out the word and ds writes it on his paper. I ask him to spell it out loud and then I write it on the board correcting any mistakes as I go. If he has made a mistake, he corrects the word right then and we may talk about the different ways to spell that sound. We do this with the whole word list and do this each day with the next list. He never tries to memorize the words and we don't "practice" the words. If he is having trouble with a particular sound, we may do a word list twice, but rarely do we have to do this. Is this what y'all do?


I would like to suggest Dianne Craft's right brain phonics book. It helped my dyslexic ds (who is also a good reader, but horrible speller) in learning the sounds and she has lots of great suggestions for spelling.

Michelle B.
10-15-2009, 07:21 PM
I recently started SS w/ my 9 yo. Other spelling lists were horrible for him. He really likes that he doesn't have to "study" spelling and seems to be making more progress in the last couple of weeks than in the last year! He writes the words in the "book" and then I write the word on the dry erase board so he can correct any mistakes as he goes. If he's having trouble we talk about them;) VERY BRIEFLY

Gail in NY
10-15-2009, 07:57 PM
I like Love to Learns spelling and Lang. Arts program. Real life works best here. I found my kids learned the best when they had a reason to and it made sense to them. My dd took off on her spelling, penmanship, and grammar when she began writing to a pen-pal. If more help is needed, I like Apples
(you can google it.) not teacher intensive, but effective.

Jeni
10-16-2009, 03:08 AM
I am not sure exactly what you mean here, but let me share how we use SS.

Yes that's exactly how we do SS, my oldest son uses it and is doing very well with it. Sean however did fine on the first list (had like four 3 letter words), the second list gave him a little trouble but he seemed ok by the end. From the third list on was terrible, he couldn't remember how to put the /s/ sound on the end of a word and the -ed ending completely threw him for a loop. Even when I explained that he need to add the ending the same way to each word, he could not remember to do it or he couldn't remember what phonogram made the desired sound (even though the previous word which we corrected had the very same phonogram) He just completely does not understand phonograms or phonics and gets frustrated with SS because he had to correct every single word for the most part. My oldest son showed great improvement in his spelling within a week or so of starting SS. Sean's never showed any improvement whatsoever.

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Holly
10-16-2009, 10:37 AM
Jeni is this the love to learn program you were talking about http://www.lovetolearn.net/catalog/detail/journal/0 if not could you provide a link :kiss:

Hope
10-16-2009, 10:51 AM
I recently purchased the Love to Learn language program to use with my little guy. The spelling is set up the way Ruth Beechick suggests: The misspelled words in your child's writing become his spelling list.

Every day the child is to write a journal page. Any misspelled words from that writing are placed on a list. On Monday your child writes, you correct it, and then misspelled words are transferred by the child into the spelling section of his language arts notebook. On Tuesday the same procedure is followed. The spelling list from Monday is copied again and any misspelled words from Tuesday's writing are added to it. On Wednesday the child does the same thing, and so on for the rest of the week. By Friday there is a list of all the misspelled words from that week that the child studies and is tested on.

Jeni, do I remember correctly that you have Phonics Pathways? If so, is there a way you can use that for spelling? The author talks about how to use it for spelling and you could easily generate lists according to the phonics sound your son needs help spelling.

Esther-Alabama
10-16-2009, 03:58 PM
I wonder if he is one of those kids who needs to not write to learn to spell. I am thinking out loud, but when my oldest dyslexic son learned to spell, he learned using letter magnets. I was given a HUGE set that had individual letters, plus word families like -it, -at, etc...

I worked with him using a cookie sheet and those magnets. He finally SAW the relationship between words and the sounds. I did word families much like in SS and showed him how to change the first sound to make new words. Then, we moved on to adding the "s" at the end and "ing" and "ed"

I remember showing him to double the consonant b/c the ending was so heavy the letter needed extra help holding it up. He STILL refers to that word picture when adding that extra consonant.

Do you think something like this would help him begin to SEE the relationship the letters have? For my oldest child, he must be able to put his hands on things to be able to really understand them. He had to "build" those words to wrap his mind around them. Once he had it.... he had it, though. We were able to move to spelling on paper after a year of building.

Jeni
10-16-2009, 04:24 PM
Jeni is this the love to learn program you were talking about http://www.lovetolearn.net/catalog/detail/journal/0 if not could you provide a link :kiss:

Yes that's it.

I'll be back later to address the other posts. :kiss:
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Nancy Ann
10-16-2009, 05:10 PM
Would Explode the Code work for you? It should be easy enough for him to just do a few pages a day. You could get the teacher manual to go with it and it will have suggestions on how to reinforce the phonics concepts. Maybe start with level 3.

I would suggest dictation but it's not really teaching phonics unless you teach the phonics when explaining the words he has trouble with but I wonder if that would be too teacher intensive. To be honest I am not entirely sure how dictation works. I mean, I know how to do dictation but I am not really clear on WHY it's helpful to teach spelling or how it improves spelling. I totally believe in the natural method but I haven't had to deal with any learning disabilities. The book The Harp and Laurel Wreath has a compilation of dictations by grade level that you could try and see if that helps improvement. Like I said...I am not entirely sure how dictation works for spelling but it has done wonders for some students.


http://www.amazon.com/Harp-Laurel-Wreath-Dictation-Curriculum/dp/0898707161

Spelling Power has worked well for us in the past but I am not sure if that is just more of the same of what you have already been doing. I would think if your son is struggling with SS than he would also struggle with Spelling Power. Maybe a more natural method like dictation will just "click" better for him.

Traci in Japan
10-16-2009, 10:21 PM
http://www.fiarhq.com/~gbprnhrz/forum/showthread.php?t=62166&highlight=anthony

I'm not sure if the link above will work. We use Spelling Plus - author is Susan Anthony, and I did a quick search by Anthony to find the last time it was mentioned in this forum.

I also have a nine year old who learnt to read at 4 by sight. I have done phonics with him, but he really didn't enjoy it. Now we suffer with him not being able to spell very well. He hates to write.

We use Spelling Plus, and the dictation book. He doesn't necessarily have to write to learn - we use tiles and whiteboard as well, but it is HIS responsibility to do the learning side, once I have gone through his list and talked over the phonics/tricks with him on the first day.

I do dictation with him for about 5 minutes (separate list to the one he is working on himself) and I do the test at the end of the week. It is not a very heavy teacher load.

The book has lists you can use for years. You can start where ever you like, and customise as you like. Definitely not a bells and whistles approach - just lists and commentary. The student has to do the work, and the author suggests writing them out daily, but I let my son work with what he prefers.

I have never seen any of the other programmes suggested here. I originally wanted All about Spelling (probably based on reviews from you and others here) but they would not post to Japan. This was the next programme I found which matched my criteria. I love that it is one text (two with the dictation, which I think is necessary for success) and non consumable and will work for a number of years. The author was very friendly and helpful.

Ann*TN
10-19-2009, 09:43 AM
Saxson Phonics is a VERY intensive program that my daughter used when she went to private Christian school.( she was a VERY good reader) However when it came time for me to teach my son to read I did not choose this because it was SO involved. It had so much coding, that while she could read almost anything she still had trouble remembering all the steps that she was supposed to do to the words.

Fast forward (too) many years and many reading programs. My son has a lot of learning issues and really struggles in a lot of areas including reading. He finally started picking up reading, but he had a lot of gaps due to using different programs( I don't reccomend this) Anyway I decided to use Saxson's Phonics intervention. It covers the same "stuff" as their other programs, but because he is older, he is handling it well. It covers A LOT of phonics and spelling rules. It takes us about 20 minutes to do the lesson. I haven't gotten far enough to say whether or not it is going to be successful, but I "think" that I originally heard of this program on Jeannie Fullbright's (the author or Apologia's Elementary Science) website and she said that it was working very well for her son primarily with spelling.

HTH

Robin(CA)
10-19-2009, 12:11 PM
We used the Love to Learn LA program for a very short time. Part of the problem may have been that ds was too young (I think he was 1st or 2nd grade), but the bigger problem was that he was a perfectionist and he already didn't like writing a word if he couldn't spell it and he really didn't like it once he realized that the words he misspelled would become his spelling words.

He chose to "stunt" his writing, using only the most basic words that he knew how to spell, instead of writing whatever was on his mind or choosing a creative approach. :eyes:

Jeni
10-20-2009, 01:01 PM
Sorry I couldn't get back to this sooner. Lots to check into. Thanks for all the help ladies. ;)